WellPoint Preparing for Change in Leadership
WellPoint on Monday announced that Angela Braly, a general counsel and public relations executive at the company, will replace Larry Glasscock as president and CEO on June 1, USA Today reports. Glasscock on Monday said that he will retire as WellPoint president and CEO for family reasons, although he will remain chair of the company.
Braly, who since 1999 has served as an executive at WellPoint and a company subsidiary, will become the only female CEO among the top 50 U.S. companies (Appleby, USA Today, 2/27).
During her tenure, Braly said that she plans to focus on expansion of membership in WellPoint health plans and seek potential merger and acquisition targets to promote company growth. She said, "What we know at WellPoint is that 70% of the health care decisions are made by women, so I think it's a very natural place for me to be, both as a business woman and as a consumer of health care for my family" (AP/Baltimore Sun, 2/27).
Charles Boorady, a health care securities analyst at Citigroup, said that the "biggest knock" against Braly is her lack of visibility among investors. However, he said, "She is experienced in communicating with the government at a time when several Democrats in Congress are planning hearings involving the managed care companies, and the companies all expect their CEOs to testify on the Hill" (Freudenheim, New York Times, 2/27).